Abele and Dimitrijevic duke it out at County Board
May 24, 2012
From County Executive Chris Abele (regarding his support of Patrick Farley’s appointment as Director of Dept. of Administrative Services)
County Executive Abele Surprised by Chairwoman’s Lack of Leadership
County Executive Chris Abele released the following statement after County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic refused to act on a crucial appointment, instead laying the issue over.
“The Chairwoman has talked a lot about leadership and her role in moving the County Board forward but today when she had the chance to show that leadership she failed.
The vast majority of the board wanted to take a vote on Pat Farley’s reappointment, pointing out correctly that a delay will accomplish nothing, but the Chairwoman cast the deciding vote to lay the reappointment over for a month. This action simply drags the process out and raises the question whose interests she’s protecting, hers or the taxpayers?
Leadership is often about making tough decisions, not sticking your head in the stand and delaying action. This is a disappointing start to what the Chairwoman has promised would be a new direction for the County Board.
Pat Farley is an extraordinary public servant, he and the citizens of Milwaukee County deserve better. I appreciate the 12 members who voted to move the process forward. As many of them pointed out, there was no reasonable purpose to delay.”
The county board voted 6 to 12 to lay Farley’s reappointment over, under county rules it only takes a simple minority to lay an item over.
From Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic
Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic released the following statement regarding today’s County Board action on the proposed appointment of Mr. Patrick Farley to the position Department of Administrative Services Director.
“This is not a matter of whether to fire someone. Instead, it’s a matter of whether to hire someone for the next four years. With this layover, Mr. Farley stays in the position for the time being while the County Board has the opportunity to do its due diligence in the legislative process.
“As prescribed in State Statutes and the Milwaukee County Code of General Ordinances, Supervisors have the right to vote independently on key appointments. The legislative process is a system of checks and balances.
“Today’s County Board action sends the right message. It gives the Administration time to answer a number of questions raised by the legislative branch. On behalf of the people we are elected to represent, the Department of Administrative Services needs to address the following policy matters:
• The Committees on Transportation, Public Works & Transit and Finance & Audit should be given updates on the transportation services budget. Is there a deficit or a surplus?
• Facilities planning is a key step in our strategic planning process. Better management of our real estate portfolio could reduce the County’s footprint and save tax dollars. We still don’t have a facilities plan to consider despite efforts to make progress since the start of 2011.
• Provide a progress update on the efforts to hire a full-time Sustainability Director for Milwaukee County. Funds were included in the 2012 budget for this purpose, but the position has yet to be filled.
“The tone and context of the discussion forwarded by the County Executive sends the wrong message. The County Executive has injected external matters into this debate, but the County Board has real legislative items that have not been satisfactory answered.
“Rather than generating drama and speculation, the County Executive should instead respond in a factual manner to the concerns raised by Supervisors. As with any cabinet appointment, the Board will assess the individual’s job performance and determine whether the appointment has merit.”
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